From cramming to programming, TV to watch during study breaks

Sydney Zink, Columnist

Midterms are in full swing. Amid all that studying, you’re surely going to need a few breaks to de-stress. Why not watch some television? Whether you have less than a half-hour to dedicate to time off, or decide to watch a full arc of hour-slot episodes, the following shows are worthwhile options. The latest episodes of these series are also all available through Hulu, either embedded on the website or linked externally, so you won’t have to pay for Netflix in addition to paying for those times you dozed in class. Here’s a line-up of classic and current shows well suited for breaks in studying for midterms — just don’t watch them all at once!

“Modern Family” (Half hour)

Is the stress of midterms making you a bit homesick, too? Look no further. The awarding-winning hit “Modern Family” hilariously revives the fumbling, invaluable family quirkiness that surely awaits you on your next holiday trip home.

“Saturday Night Live” (One and a half hours, or short individual clips)

“SNL” is perfect for study breaks because you may either choose to watch the entire hour-and-a-half-long episode at once or find clips of individual skits that will only take a couple of minutes of your time.

“The Colbert Report” (Half hour)

Aside from the fact that Stephen Colbert is also a Northwestern alumnus, you should watch “The Colbert Report” during study breaks to both catch up on national talk and get a heavy dose of comedy in the mix.

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (One hour)

With 144 episodes and 39 clips on Hulu alone, this classic drama is a lull-buster that will get your blood pumping and thoughts flowing in no time. The comfort of this show’s familiar face among the flood of new television shows today makes “Buffy” all the more worthwhile to watch.

“Grey’s Anatomy” (One hour)

With captivating romance, interpersonal drama, powerful moments of empathy and plenty of twists, this medical drama extends its appeal far beyond the sleepless pre-med student. In fact, it is the highest-rated drama amongst the 18 to 49-year-old demographic.

“The Walking Dead” (One hour)

Not one for comedy or a sap for romance? Aside from the show’s title accurately describing college students’ demeanor in the thick of midterms, “The Walking Dead” itself also serves cramming college students well by providing a dark, post-apocalyptic plot based around zombies that will make the soon-to-come primal scream of finals week sound like no big deal compared to the thrill of this series.

Whether you relax best with lots of laughs, or perhaps from empathizing with a dramatic character facing tough times, television offers a way for almost anyone to escape from high-stress situations like midterms. So, next time you’re reading your textbook for the umpteenth hour and can’t remember whether that last word you read was “Medici” or “medicinal,” consider allowing yourself to curl up in your room with a blanket, popcorn and an episode of your favorite show on your laptop. Good luck on midterms, and don’t forget to give yourself a break from the books now and then.